5 years ago on July 3rd, 2016
A tourist steps on an explosive device in Central Park
Just before 11am, 18-year-old Connor Golden stepped on what appeared to be a discarded plastic bag, but some form of explosive inside detonated, leaving Connor with serious injuries to his left leg such that it had to be amputated.
The blast took place among exposed rocks in a popular area at the southeast corner of Central Park at 60th Street. The location suggests that not only may someone may have seen the culprit placing the bag, but also regardless of the bomber's intention, the explosion ended up randomly targeting anyone who stumbled across the bag.
Investigators soon identified that the explosive used was called TATP, commonly used in terror attacks and capable of being produced using household chemicals. The bomb was not considered to be terror-related since it did not contain shrapnel or a detonation device, and appeared more like an experiment that had been discarded.
The most unique clue was the shredded remains of a bakery bag from La Unica bakery in New Jersey. Upon further investigation, the current owner of the bakery stated that the bag design found at the explosion had not been used since 2010, six years before the explosion. The police and NYPD hope that this detail will prompt someone's memory to identify a suspect, who may also have an interest in chemistry or explosives and may have lived nearby the southeast corner of Central Park in 2016 since the explosive is volatile and difficult to safely transport once manufactured.
If you have any information or photos from that day, contact NYPD CrimeStoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (1-800-577-8477), via text message at CRIMES (274637), or via online form. In 2017, the NYPD and ATF increased the reward for potential leads to $40,000.